Meet our Team


Anita Kelsey, M.D. Director 

Dr. Anita Kelsey is the director of the Echocardiography Laboratory and a Cardiologist at The Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She completed her Cardiology fellowship at Duke University prior to joining Hoffman Heart in 2003 as the director of echocardiography and director of Women’s Heart Program. She is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut Medical School. She maintains special interest and expertise in echocardiography and cardiovascular disease in women, and is a member of the North American Menopause Society.

Claire L. Karwacki-Marugg, M.S., C.E.S., Coordinator 

Claire Karwacki-Marugg has served in the health and wellness field for 26 years and has worked at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center for the past 19 years. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with her Masters in Exercise Physiology and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an exercise specialist. Her specialties are in in cardiac rehabilitation, lipid management and wellness.

“There is such a need to educate women about cardiac wellness and prevention. The Women's Heart Program provides a unique opportunity to teach awareness and skills to women on how to have healthier lives.” 

Beverley Vassell, Administrative Assistant  

I have worked with various cardiologists at Saint Francis for the past 18 years. I am currently the secretary for the Women’s Heart Program at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s Hoffman Heart & Vascular Institute of Connecticut. Five years prior to joining Saint Francis, I was employed as a medical secretary/transcriptionist in a variety of healthcare settings.

"I am enthusiastic and excited about being a part of the Women’s Heart Program. It’s a program geared toward awareness and prevention and I am proud to promote women’s wellness. " 

Kara M. Cashman, M.S., R.D., C.D.-N., Registered Dietitian 

I earned my Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, as well as my undergraduate degree in dietetics and nutrition, from the University of New Haven. I conducted my dietetic internship program at Saint Joseph’s College in West Hartford. I also hold a certificate in pediatric and adolescent weight management and wellness coaching. I really enjoy motivating people to make healthy lifestyle changes so that they can decrease their risk factors for chronic disease. In Cardiac Rehab, I typically work with patients on setting small, realistic goals to help break bad habits and create new, healthy ones. I enjoy hiking, running, and staying active.